Whether you need an attorney because you were in a car accident, are facing financial difficulties, are getting divorced, or any other reason, there are certain questions you should ask before you sign a representation agreement. The following are some frequently asked questions and brief answers presented by Ask Your Lawyer.
Why do I need to ask questions of a possible attorney?
Like any other profession, all lawyers are not the same. Clients have specific legal issues and individual needs and it is important to match an attorney’s style to your preferences. For example, if you tend to worry a lot, it is important to have a lawyer who keeps you informed about your case.
What is their experience with this type of case?
You want someone on your side who thoroughly understands all laws and procedures relevant to your case. Additionally, if your case may go to trial, it is important that your attorney have litigation experience.
What is your case worth?
Legal matters can be time and energy-consuming and you always want to get an estimate of whether pursuing your case will be worth it. Ask for an estimate of your losses to determine whether you want to continue with a case.
Are there alternatives to resolve your case?
In many situations, there are alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and arbitration that may avoid the time and cost of going to trial.
How much will your case cost?
Lawyers have different ways of charging clients for their services. Some attorneys charge an hourly fee while others work on a contingency fee arrangement, which means you do not pay unless you are able to recover in your case. Make sure you understand the fee arrangement before you proceed.
How will they keep you informed of progress in your case?
You should know what to expect when it comes to communications from your attorney. How often will you hear from their office regarding case updates? Will it be the attorney who calls or support staff?
Who does the work on cases?
Will your particular attorney handle all aspects of your case or will some work be shared by other members of the legal team? Will paralegals or interns be able to handle portions of your case?
What is the attorney’s approach to this type of case?
If you plan to pursue your claim to the maximum of your ability, you do not want an attorney who tends to settle in most of their cases. On the other hand, if you are okay with accepting a settlement offer, you do not want your lawyer to continue to fight it out in court and risk losing all of your recovery.
These are only a few examples of FAQs regarding retaining any type of attorney. Please call our office to speak to Ask Your Lawyer today.